My name is Rachel Jones, I grew up in Vermont, moved to New Jersey in 2003 and currently live in Manahawkin with my husband, Wayne, and our kids Gwen (16), Sawyer (7) and Paisley (5).
In 1991, my youngest sister Hannah was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL), she was 2 years old. Her diagnosis shook our world as a family and has greatly influenced my life. I am proud to say that my sister is a Survivor and is 25 years cancer free!
Through my sister’s battle I learned to look at life very differently. I have learned to “stop and smell the roses” because the little things in life are just as important as the big things and often become those. It has also led me to some unique volunteer opportunities. I am currently involved with Camp Sunshine and have been since 1996, after having participated as a family while my sister was undergoing treatment. I have also served on the board of directors for the Courage from Kyle Foundation.
Cancer is not something I would wish on anyone. It can be so ugly and do so much damage, not just to the patient but to all those who love that person.
Yet in the face of the ugliness that is cancer and particularly in my case, childhood cancer, I have tried to look at all the things it has allowed me to be a part of, the people it has brought into my life and the opportunities it has presented to my family and I. Some of my best friends, my most favorite memories and experiences have come from it.
I wouldn’t want to do it again, but I wouldn’t change the person I am today because of it.
It is my honor and privilege to serve as a patient advocate and to be part of David’s Dream and Believe Cancer Foundation!